[permaculture] Green Party candidate Genest carries Gore's message
Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
lakinroe at silcom.com
Fri May 2 01:12:48 EDT 2008
Green Party candidate Genest carries Gore's message
By Andrew King
Article online since May 1st 2008, 13:35
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Al Gore's film 'An Inconvenient Truth' has brought worldwide
attention to the topic of environmental sustainability, and now
Westmount's Green Party candidate is spreading that message to create
sustainable change that the community can embrace.
Claude William Genest, the former actor and current Green Party
deputy leader, has devoted his career as a politician to bringing
environmentally sustainable solutions to the way businesses operate
and to the way each person lives at home.
Between being recognized by Gore, teaching permaculture at the
University at Vermont and producing an Emmy-nominated series for PBS,
Genest took some time to talk about his work and how he's willing to
go door-to-door to make sustainability a reality.
"Before I knew it, I was leaving behind hosting Travel Travel, which
was a plenty good job, to go work on farms in Australia and New
Zealand and learn about things from the ground up," said Genest. "It
completely transformed me."
Recently, Genest was one of only a handful of Canadians chosen to
receive training from Gore on how to teach others about the issues of
"Mr. Gore was going to choose 200 people; I applied and was one of
those chosen," said Genest. "I was so impressed by Mr. Gore and Dr.
(David) Suzuki... These guys are true warriors. It's not what they
say, it's about what they do. That really galvanized me."
With his diverse plate of environmental projects, including teaching
and his PBS series The Art of Sustainable Living, Genest believes
that he has the ability to successfully promote change through
"I've always said I was going to push the thing on all angles... All
change comes from the bottom up... so I believe that and I practice
that when I teach permaculture," said Genest. "But now, I really,
really, really believe that change has to happen also from the top
down. We need to have the policy and laws in place to move this thing forward."
Genest's approach of making personal connections to small groups of
people, instead of delivering speeches to full auditoriums, has had a
positive effect on what he sees as a society "divorced from our
"Every time I go talk in someone's home in front of 15 or 20 people,
two or three of them immediately go, 'I'm going to have you go speak
to 15 of my friends,'" says Genest. "We've got to go out there and
Even with Genest's time limited with his non-stop work, he is
preparing for a possible election, attending the Emmy Awards and is
in the process of writing a book.
"Things are definitely moving [but] it's not me that's moving, it's
green consciousness. The right thing is emerging and I'm just one of
the people able to talk about it."
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